International Rescue Committee North East Syria Health Sector Working Group Coordinator in Iraq


The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $140 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 3,000 staff and workers in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.

As the conflict in Syria has entered its seventh year, it is estimated that over 400,000 people have been killed in the county and a total of 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Additionally, 6.6 million persons are displaced internally and over 4.7 million people are living in ‘besieged’ and ‘hard to reach’ areas. Within the Food Security Sector, as per the Humanitarian Needs Overview 2017, it has been assessed that 9 million people are in need of assistance, including 7 million considered as food insecure across the country.

Despite the efforts among a large number of International and Syrian NGOs and UN Agencies that have been providing assistance inside Syria, needs keep on increasing and coordination structures remain fragile as a result of continuous political sensitivity in Syria. As a result, the humanitarian community has embarked since 2014 on a Whole of Syria Approach in order to improve the overall humanitarian response based on a more integrated and connected coordination structure between the various “hubs” from which relief aid is being provided– either from Syria or cross-border operations from Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

As the Iraq Hub – more commonly called North East Syria (NES) – is growing in terms of partners and capacity, the Health Sector at the Whole of Syria level is looking into supporting the development and strengthening of the Health Working Group already in place and being coordinated directly by Whole of Syria at present.

Job Overview/Summary:

The NES Health Sector Working Group Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating all Health activities across NES interacting and engaging with both INGO, NGO and UN actors. This position sits with the WoS coordination architecture.

Major Responsibilities:

Coordination and Representation

  • Chair regular coordination meetings with the working group. Actively identify and make contact with new and existing actors to add to the working group, inclusive of those that may be registered in other hubs, but responding in North East Syria;
  • Work with WHO and Health Working Group members to ensure that key health concerns are reflected and addressed.
  • Support the working group’s data collection efforts, helping partners to submit accurate and consistent data; provide analysis back to the working group and other interagency;
  • Raise health concerns in NES hub and liaise with coordination Fora (NES INGO Forum/OCHA NES Focal Point/Qamishli Sub Office) on local and technical level to ensure and facilitate contextual analysis, needs assessments and access to beneficiaries and sites/structures,
  • Collaborate with other sectors, including, in particular, the WASH Working Group, the Protection Working Group, the Food Security and FSL Working Group to ensure integration of health concerns and responsive programming;
  • Identify gaps and areas of overlap in the health sector in NE Syria
  • Represent on coordination with the WoS health cluster coordinators the Whole of Syria health initiatives as required;
  • Identifying resources needs and track funding to support WoS resource and funds tracking and coordinate with the WoS coordinators to advocate with donors to ensure appropriate support for inter-agency health activities;
  • Ensure health sector preparedness and contingency plans are updated on a regular basis and made available to health sector partners
  • Assist in developing/updating information management tools and products;
  • Oversee, compile and analyze key health indicators and data from NES hub to ensure production of knowledge to steer the strategic and operational planning for the WOS response, including but not limited to contributions to the HNO and HRP process.

Capacity Building

  • Arrange/conduct direct training in health for key national and local stakeholders as feasible, in line with agreed upon sectoral priorities in the work plan;
  • Work with partners to promote understanding of and adherence to humanitarian and health principles and standards according to international standards.
  • Ensuring consideration and inclusion of cross-cutting issues (Protection, Age, Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction and Environment) in the sector’s response

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: *DDXB *Indirect/Technical Reporting:WOS Health Coordinator

*Position directly Supervises: *n/a

*Key Internal Contacts: *IRC NES TEAM, DDXB/Iraq CD, Regional team

*Key External Contacts: *NES INGOS, NES UNOCHA, NES INGO Forum, WOS

Job Requirements:


Post graduate degree in public health, medicine or related health field

Minimum of 5 years proven experience working on health issues in humanitarian environments, including provision of technical advice to field teams;

Excellent understanding of health issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws and the cluster system


  • Previous experience in cluster or sector coordination
  • Demonstrable experience in advocacy and high-level negotiation skills.
  • Strong experience with information management as related to the health sector, including maintaining standards of impartiality and confidentiality with data of a sensitive nature
  • Excellent leadership, coordination, capacity building, planning and analytical skills;
  • Excellent advocacy and representation skills including the development of strong interpersonal relationships to facilitate communication within the cluster;
  • Able to work successfully under pressure and ability to make timely decisions;
  • Excellent written and spoken English, Arabic is an asset;
  • Previous experience of working within the cluster system preferred; this position includes travel throughout the region.
  • Experience in Syria and/or in the region is preferred.


  • Post graduate degree in public health, medicine or related health field

*Work Experience: *

  • Minimum of 5 years proven experience working on health issues in humanitarian environments, including provision of technical advice to field teams;
  • Excellent understanding of health issues in emergency situations and detailed knowledge of humanitarian principles, guidelines and laws and the cluster system
  • Previous experience in cluster or sector coordination

*Languages Required/Preferred: *

  • Arabic preferred, Kurdish preferred, English essential

Ability to Travel: 50% of the time to [Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon]

Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Attention Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

Sector: Health

Location: Iraq

Employee Type: Regular

Employee Category: Full Time